November 2004 blog

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2004, Nov 16; 12:18 ::: Something Wild (1986) - Jonathan Demme

Road movie, romantic comedy featuring Melanie Griffith and some kinky sex, directed by Roger Corman prodigy Jonathan Demme.

Something Wild (1986) - Jonathan Demme [Amazon.com]

2004, Nov 15; 23:29 ::: Sappho

Sappho (1877) - Charles-August Mengin

Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet. Some of her love poems were addressed to women, from which she developed a reputation for lesbianism. The word lesbian itself is derived from the name of the island of Lesbos from which she came.

2004, Nov 15; 16:48 ::: Soylent Green (1973) - Richard Fleischer

Soylent Green (1973) - Richard Fleischer [Amazon.com]

In an overpopulated society in 2022, people's main diet is Soylent Green.

The true main ingredient of Soylent Green is human meat, tied to euthanasia centers.

Women are referred to as "furniture" (they come with the apartment).

2004, Nov 15; 16:40 ::: Death Race 2000 (1975) - Paul Bartel

Death Race 2000 (1975) - Paul Bartel [Amazon.com]

Oh great American multitude and sports fans everywhere have I got a movie for you: Paul Bartel's 1975 cheap-o satire Death Race 2000.

Hilarious stuff takes place throughout the race, from euthanasia day at the geriatric hospital [...]

2004, Nov 15; 13:30 ::: Intersection


In mathematics, the intersection of two sets A and B is the set that contains all elements of A that also belong to B (or equivalently, all elements of B that also belong to A), but no other elements.

Joan Hawkins's study of "art-horror" focuses upon the historical intersections of "art" and "horror" discourses and audiences. Hawkins is thus interested in an interrogation of aesthetic criteria aimed at exposing the fragility of distinctions such as "high" versus "low" culture, or the "avant-garde" versus "horror" as a genre. Sections two and three of the book examine specific instances of "art-horror" and thus examines the ways in which horror and art-house or avant-garde cinemas overlap and interpenetrate. The resulting study is one which significantly addresses issues of generic mutability and shifts in cultural value. --Matthew Hills, http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/film/journal/bookrev/cutting-edge.htm [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 15; 11:59 ::: Accatone (1961) - Pasolini

Accatone (1961) - Pasolini [Amazon.com]

Vittorio Accattone (Franco Citti) at never working. He is a smooth talker, capable of only brief flashes of compassion, mostly for himself. When he loses his prize prostitute, Maddelena (Silvana Corsini), he despairs not for her but for his lost income. Nearly starving, he turns to his ex-wife and child for support, who soon find that he has not changed his ways. It is the lovely Stella (Franca Pasut), a peasant girl, who Vittorio falls in love with and is almost willing to change for.

This is writer/director Pier Paolo Pasolini's first film. In Accattone Pasolini provides us with a glimpse into a very different "cafe society", that of lazy, bored young men who avoid life's responsibilities in an economically depressed culture. The street scenes of 1960 Rome and Lazio are made fascinating by the people, most of whom appear to be non-actors. We felt transfixed by the images and by the haunting musical score of Johann Sebastian Bach (under the musical direction of Carlo Rustichelli). --http://www.1worldfilms.com/accatone.htm [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 15; 10:55 ::: Interiors (1978) - Woody Allen

Interiors (1978) - Woody Allen [Amazon.com]

An entirely serious, rather too self-consciously Bergmanesque drama about a divorcing elderly couple and their grown daughters, it is slow, meditative, and constructed with a brilliant, painterly eye. --Richard Farr, Amazon.com

2004, Nov 14; 17:46 ::: The Brood (1979) - David Cronenberg

The Brood (1979)- David Cronenberg [Amazon.com]

Unresolved emotions from an ugly divorce give birth, quite literally, to terrifying manifestations. --http://www.e.bell.ca/filmfest/2004/filmsschedules/description.asp?pageID=dialogues&id=45

2004, Nov 14; 16:33 ::: Bad Timing - (1980) - Nicolas Roeg

Interestingly, Bad Timing (1980) could be considered the first sexual warfare film to explore the concept of two people literally exhausting themselves to death (or at least coming perilously close); while Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and its like depicted relationships as a battle, Roeg's film creates a new terrain in which love is a consuming, destructive, time-swallowing force when the partners are essentially incompatible. One need only look at the following year's more overtly horrific Possession (1981) to see the difference (that film also uses the split of Communist and Western urban culture as an emotional mirror), or such later studies in sexual/emotional exhaustion as Bitter Moon (1992) and Crash (1996), where empty thrills must consume a couple when their hearts have long since stopped beating. --Nathaniel Thompson http://www.mondo-digital.com/badtiming.html [May 2004]

2004, Nov 14; 16:29 ::: Carlo Rambaldi

legno snodabile - Carlo Rambaldi (H 80 cm) via http://www.italica.rai.it/principali/argomenti/altro/pinocchio/rambaldi.htm

Elephant Man: David Lynch originally attempted to do the make-up himself but this was not filmable. The filmed make-up was devised by Carlo Rambaldi. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elephant_Man [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 14; 14:46 ::: Possession (1981) - Andrzej Zulawski

Possession (1981) - Andrzej Zulawski

Possession is a 1981 film by Andrzej Zulawski. The theme is a horror allegory on divorce, much like David Cronenberg's The Brood.. Special effects were done by Carlo Rambaldi

2004, Nov 12; 10:43 ::: More images

St. Sebastian (c.1618) - Peter Paul Rubens

Sebastiane (1976) - Paul Humfress, Derek Jarman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

St Sebastian was a Christian saint and martyr, who died under the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the third century.

Sebastiane is the homoerotic film written and directed by Derek Jarman and Paul Humfress that portraits the martyrdom of the Catholic Saint Sebastian. It was the first film to be entirely recorded in Latin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastiane [Nov 2004]

Lee Perry behind the controls

Genevieve Bujold, photocredit unknown

Bunker Archeology: Texts and Photos (1975) - Paul Virilio [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

2004, Nov 11; 09:35 ::: 1918 - World War I ends

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) - Lewis Milestone [Amazon.com] [FR] World War I ends: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside of Compiègne in France. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armistice_with_Germany_(Compi%E8gne)

This 1930 film, No. 54 on the AFI's Top 100 list, still holds up as a surprisingly forceful and honest antiwar drama. --Amazon.com

2004, Nov 10; 10:03 ::: Some images

Special effects by Ray Harryhausen in One Million Years B.C. (1967) - Don Chaffey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Ray Harryhausen (born June 29, 1920 in Los Angeles, California) was an American film director, producer and most notably a special effects creator. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Harryhausen [Nov 2004]

Il Fiore delle mille e una notte/Arabian Nights (1974) - Pier Paolo Pasolini [Amazon.com]

director Pier Paolo Pasolini (Canterbury Tales) combines the heroics and hedonism of the classic Arabian tales with his dreamlike vision of bawdy pleasures and sublime sensuality to create Arabian Nights, the masterwork of his Trilogy of Life. --product description

Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. (1967) - Don Chaffey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Chesty Morgan in Il Casanova di Federico Fellini/Fellini's Casanova (1976) - Federico Fellini

Chesty Morgan in Measurements: 73FF-32-36 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine) via http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074291 [Nov 2004]

- (1963) - Frederico Fellini [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Frida (2002) - Julie Taymor [Amazon.com]

Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 - July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frida_Kahlo [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 08; 15:40 ::: Marilyn Monroe, photocredit unknown [Nov 2004]

Marilyn Monroe, photocredit unknown [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 08; 15:17 ::: Mommie Dearest (1981) - Frank Perry

Mommie Dearest (1981) - Frank Perry [Amazon.com]

Mommie Dearest is a memoir and expose written by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford that was published in 1978.

Presented by its author as nonfiction, the book depicts Christina's version of her childhood and her relationship with her mother. She alleges that for many years she was the victim of child abuse during her mother's battle with alcoholism.

Crawford's name has become a byword for parental abuse and cruelty. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mommie_Dearest [Nov 2004]

The 1981 film has achieved cult status as a high camp classic. Dunaway later stated that she wished she had never appeared in it. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mommie_Dearest [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 08; 15:17 ::: Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios/Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) - Pedro Almodóvar

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios/Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) - Pedro Almodóvar [Amazon.com]

Pedro Almodovar broke into the art-house mainstream with this wild, manic comedy about a gaggle of women and their various problems with men, be they married lovers, cheating husbands, fiancés, or terrorists.

Chock full of the director's over-the-top stylization, in terms of both story and sets, the film is a hilarious yet heartfelt marriage of kitsch and drama, verging on parody but never going entirely over the top.

Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1989. --Mark Englehart, amazon.com

2004, Nov 08; 12:21 ::: Sture Johannesson

Sture Johannesson’s poster for the exhibition Underground (1969, Lund, Sweden)

2004, Nov 08; 00:56 ::: Teorema/Theorem (1968) - Pier Paolo Pasolini

Teorema/Theorem (1968) - Pier Paolo Pasolini [Amazon.com]

The Lickerish Quartet (1967) looks like a remake of Pasolini's Teorema, but its pedigree is actually even fancier: Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921). --Gary Morris, http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/21/21_metzger.html [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 07; 19:25 ::: Festen/The Celebration (1998) - Thomas Vinterberg

Festen/The Celebration (1998) - Thomas Vinterberg [Amazon.com]

2004, Nov 07; 12:31 ::: Ro.Go.Pa.G. Pier Paolo Pasolini (segment La Ricotta) (1963)

Ro.Go.Pa.G. Pier Paolo Pasolini (segment La Ricotta) (1963) [IMDB]

La ricotta (1963), a 35-minute film by Pasolini about a director who sets out to make a film about the Passion of Jesus

La ricotta is featured on Criterion's Mamma Roma (1962) - Pier Paolo Pasolini [Amazon.com] and on the massive The Criterion Collection Holiday 2004 Gift Set (2004) - Various (282 discs) [Amazon.com]

2004, Nov 06; 11:22 ::: The Stendhal Syndrome (1996) - Dario Argento

The Stendhal Syndrome (1996) - Dario Argento [Amazon.com]

Stendhal syndrome or Stendhal's syndrome is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when the individual is exposed to an overdose of beautiful art, paintings and artistic masterpieces.

It is also the title of a 1996 film by Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, featuring his daughter Asia Argento. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stendhal_syndrome

2004, Nov 04; 22:33 ::: Les Valseuses/Going Places (1974) Bertrand Blier

Les Valseuses/Going Places (1974) Bertrand Blier [Amazon.com]

Les Valseuses/Going Places (1974) is a film by french director Bertand Blier featuring Gerard Depardieu, Jeanne Moreau, Patrick Dewaere and Isabelle Huppert

2004, Nov 04; 22:49 ::: The Masque of the Red Death (1964) - Roger Corman

The Masque of the Red Death (1964) - Roger Corman [Amazon.com]

The Masque of the Red Death is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1842.

It was adapted by film director Roger Corman as a classic film (1964) starring Vincent Price, which, like the story, ends with the sentence:

And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Masque_of_the_Red_Death [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 04; 11:28 ::: Easy Rider (1969) - Dennis Hopper

Easy Rider (1969) - Dennis Hopper [Amazon.com]

Easy Rider is a Dennis Hopper directed, essentially bringing the no-frills filmmaking methods of legendary, drive-in movie producer Roger Corman to a serious feature for the mainstream. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

2004, Nov 04; 09:33 ::: Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma/Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom - (1976) - Pier Paolo Pasolini

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma/Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom - (1976) - Pier Paolo Pasolini [Amazon.com]

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom) is a 1976 film by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, based on the book The 120 Days of Sodom (1785) by the Marquis de Sade.

Controversy over the film exists to this day, with many praising the film for its fearlessness and willingness to contemplate the unthinkable, while others condemn it roundly for being little more than a pretentious exploitation movie.

The film has been banned in several countries due to its graphic portrayals of rape, torture and murder -- mainly that of people suspected to be younger than 18 years of age. Many questions about the film's legality have been raised -- namely, whether or not the actors and actresses that participate in the (admittedly simulated) sexual or violent acts in the film were of the age of consent. See also banned films.

2004, Nov 03; 23:45 ::: Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - Arthur Penn

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - Arthur Penn [Amazon.com]

How do you begin to describe the shockwaves this movie sent through Hollywood back in 1967? Well, fortunately, that's already been done in Peter Biskind's excellent Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (1998) , a history of the "New Hollywood" with each chapter more or less focusing on a single film for each year of the decade many now talk about as a "golden age." And for Biskind, the 70s started in '67 with this movie. --David Hudson , http://www.greencine.com/webCatalog?id=314 [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 03; 18:45 ::: Akira (1988) - Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Akira (1988) - Katsuhiro Ôtomo [Amazon.com]

This classic movie led the way for the growing popularity of anime, and according to many people caused anime to become quite popular in western Europe in the mid-1990s. In North America, Akira was the beginning of the current wave of anime fandom and served as inspiration to the Wachowski brothers' The Matrix trilogy of motion pictures. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_(film) [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 03; 16:44 ::: The Gibson Girl

Camille Clifford (1885-1971) aka The Gibson Girl (photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

Camille Clifford as she sang 'Why Do They Call Me a Gibson Girl?' with Leslie Stiles (b.1876) in The Belle of Mayfair, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1906.

Gibson Girls are attractive yet independent young women as drawn by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson in the Victorian era. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_girl [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 03; 12:09 ::: Una Giornata particolare/A Special Day (1977) - Ettore Scola

Una Giornata particolare/A Special Day (1977) - Ettore Scola [Amazon.com]

Directed by veteran Ettore Scola, this somewhat strained study of sexual and political repression features two of Italian cinema's greatest stars cast against type: Sophia Loren, as a weary, frumpish housewife and mother of six; and Marcello Mastroianni, as a homosexual, anti-fascist broadcaster recently dismissed from his job. A chance meeting between these two desperately lonely individuals reveals a common bond; their encounter takes place on May 6, 1938, the date of Hitler's historic visit to Rome to sign an alliance with Mussolini. Notable for its excellent period detail, and its use of bleached, sepia-like colour, A Special Day was the recipient of several prestigious honours at time of its release. Scola accomplishes a skillful integration of plot, theme, setting, acting and photography (Lillian Schiff). --http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/archives/ital8.html [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 02; 23:05 ::: 1990s Benetton ads

1990s Benetton advertisment

Debra Ollivier:But aren't you exploiting social issues to increase Benetton's brand recognition? Isn't there a contradiction here or at least a problematic relationship?

Oliviero Toscani: Listen, a doctor who works with cancer, an oncologist -- does he exploit cancer? He's a rich man because he's a doctor. But do you think when he sees a patient he rejoices and says, "Ah, finally here's somebody with cancer?" Or Frank Gehry the architect, when he's doing a building for Coca-Cola -- do people ask him if he's doing this beautiful building so that Coca-Cola will sell more? Is he exploiting Coca-Cola to do architecture? I think this is a very old way of thinking. I'm exploiting, yes, and I want to exploit in the right way. [April 2000|Nov 2004], http://dir.salon.com/people/feature/2000/04/17/toscani_int/index.html

2004, Nov 02; 12:21 ::: Vito Acconci

Project for a new World Trade Center, New York, 2002. Photomontage - Acconc

2004, Nov 02; 11:54 ::: Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley: The Uncanny (2004) - Mike Kelley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Considered to be one of North America's most influential artists, L.A. artist Mike Kelley has done it all. He's worked in the realms of performance art, sculpture, painting, music (Destroy All Monsters, the Poetics) and writing. Highly revered, Kelley has had his fair share of controversy throughout his career. The cover art he provided for Sonic Youth's 1992 album Dirty came close to garnering them infamy with its alternately cute and surprising depictions involving home-made stuffed animals. --http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_03.09.00/arts/artsweek.html [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 02; 10:40 ::: Grand Guignol

poster for Grand Guignol play

Grand Guignol is an adjective describing any dramatic entertainment featuring the violently gruesome and gory.

The phrase comes from the "Grand Guignol" theatre in Montmartre, Paris, which specialised in such entertainment. It opened in 1897. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_guignol [Jun 2004]

André de Lorde, (1871-1933 (?)) was the chief author of the Grand Guignol plays. He wrote more than a hundred plays, all of them devoted chiefly to the exploitation of terror. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%E9_de_Lorde [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 01; 22:53 ::: Dr No (1962)

Ursula Andress in Dr No (1962)

In one of cinema's most famous moments, Ursula Andress emerged seductively from the sea and caused bikini sales to skyrocket. Sean Connery was just an unknown actor when chosen to star as James Bond by producers Saltzman and Broccoli, but Dr No was so successful that 007 is still going strong today. So sexy is the Ursula Andress character Honey Ryder, that she regularly tops Bond girl polls even now. --http://www.channel4.com/film/newsfeatures/microsites/S/sexy/results_10-1_2.html [Nov 2004]

2004, Nov 01; 17:44 ::: USA film rating: NC-17

Profile of the American NC-17 film rating and about 25 deeplinks to NC-17 films.

2004, Oct 30; 16:59 ::: The Dreamers (2003) - Bernardo Bertolucci

The Dreamers (2003) - Bernardo Bertolucci [Amazon.com]

"Only the French would house a cinema inside a palace," observes Matthew, a twenty-year-old American movie buff hanging out in Paris in 1968. He's speaking, of course, of Henri Langlois' Cinématèque Française, the national film archive which was a center of activity for directors of the French New Wave. --http://www.culturevulture.net/Movies8/Dreamers.htm [Oct 2004]

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